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An Outstanding Medical Speller


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#1 dokter_john1985

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 04:20 PM

Thursday, January 8, 2009
1:05 PM -0800

Greetings to All:

Last March, I attended an important medical conference. I looked about at the 150 in attendance and noticed that Mac Book Pros outnumbered the Windows laptops by at least 2:1. At my hotel, nearly everybody was tyring to log on to my iTunes. (Dr. Steve's Mac Book wants to;...Nurse Julie's Mac Book Air...)

There is no medical speller for the Mac, much less Leopard

I bought a speller at Stedmans and had my ID stolen after my purchase there. It doesn't work with Leopard, and they are in no hurry to port it to 10.5.6.

The last conversation I found about a medical speller on this forum seems to have been place in '04 or '06. Is this a dead issue with Spell Check?

-dr. j

#2 Evan Gross

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 12:59 AM

Thursday, January 8, 2009
1:05 PM -0800

Greetings to All:

Last March, I attended an important medical conference. I looked about at the 150 in attendance and noticed that Mac Book Pros outnumbered the Windows laptops by at least 2:1. At my hotel, nearly everybody was tyring to log on to my iTunes. (Dr. Steve's Mac Book wants to;...Nurse Julie's Mac Book Air...)


Wow, interesting, somewhat surprising as well.

There is no medical speller for the Mac, much less Leopard

I bought a speller at Stedmans and had my ID stolen after my purchase there. It doesn't work with Leopard, and they are in no hurry to port it to 10.5.6.


I thought they had proofing tools that integrated with Office. I know they have some sort of stand-alone product as well. Is that's what doesn't work?

The last conversation I found about a medical speller on this forum seems to have been place in '04 or '06. Is this a dead issue with Spell Check?


Well, nothing's really changed. Spell Catcher still comes with a small medical spellings database, but it hasn't changed much. It's certainly nothing like what Stedman's offers, but then again, it's pretty much free. Spell Catcher is only $40, their standard edition product is $100.

You posted this in our Spell Catcher Plus (for Windows) forum, is that the platform you're most interested in?

#3 dokter_john1985

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 10:00 PM

Saturday, January 10, 2009
6:40 PM -0800

Wow, interesting, somewhat surprising as well.


Do you refer to the ID theft? Stedmans sent me a letter about the theft of my VISA number; however; my bank sent me a new card and explanation before Stedmans got the chance to send their Mea Culpa.

I thought they had proofing tools that integrated with Office. I know they have some sort of stand-alone product as well. Is that's what doesn't work?


Yes, it works very well--for MS Office 2004 and earlier. It does not work with Office 2008 and certainly does not work with Leopard.

So many developers simply don't get what is happening. Or what was happening before the Crash. Before that time, at least, a lot of physicians were converting over to the Mac platform because they felt Macs were a better value overall and that medical records were not as vulnerable to hacking, viruses, worms, and the like. I mentioned the colloquium in Hawaii as an example. So many MacBook Pros were being used by those neurologists in attendance. I was very surprised. The Macs clearly outnumbered the Windows machines.

They all run Mac practices for the same reasons I do. I asked. Again, this was in May, before all Hell broke loose and before my savings dropped 55%.

The medical students I teach clearly want to use Macs and find PC to be a pain in the gluteus maxiumus. "Try to get a Windows laptop repaired." complained one.

The quickest way to show you are a moron in this field, or in medical research, is to misspell a medical term or--even worse--a patient's medication. A simple typo will do it.

I've seen such an increase in Mac use by physicians and those in the allied fields. Why no speller? Developers seem so slow on the uptake, it seems.

I was interested in the Mac side of things, not in Windows.

-John

#4 Evan Gross

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 07:45 AM

The last conversation I found about a medical speller on this forum seems to have been place in '04 or '06. Is this a dead issue with Spell Check?


Hang in there, it seems your timing might be very good.

Another customer pointed me to an open source medical spellings word list by e-MedTools called OpenMedSpel.

It contains about 48,000 words, so it's no Stedmans, but definitely larger than ours. There is about a 13,000 word overlap, so after a bit of cleanup you get about 35,000 additional medical terms over what we've got. It's easy enough to download their source (text file, scroll to the very bottom of the OpenMedSpel page), create your own Spell Catcher Compiled Learned Words reference, and add the words in their list to it yourself. But there are things to beware of, like the text encoding of their files and a couple of other things.

Their list is FAR too large for a regular Learned Words file - you must use Compiled Learned Words format. This format is native to the Proximity Linguistic System we use, and works with all Spell Catcher products without any sort of export/import/format conversion.

Anyway, I will be contacting them to see if it's OK for us to post a modified version of their word list as a Spell Catcher format file. Their word list is released under a GPL license, but I'd rather ask them directly (and get a direct answer) than try to infer anything from the GPL license document myself.

#5 dokter_john1985

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:31 PM

Monday, January 12, 2009
1:10 PM -0800

Dear Evan,

Hang in there, it seems your timing might be very good.


It would not be a matter of my timing. Some software developer simply got the idea that a lot of doctors--and other professionals--are jumping ship and switching over to Mac and UNIX. They woke up.

It contains about 48,000 words, so it's no Stedmans, but definitely larger than ours

.

Their list is FAR too large for a regular Learned Words file - you must use Compiled Learned Words format. This format is native to the Proximity Linguistic System we use, and works with all Spell Catcher products without any sort of export/import/format conversion. [snip] Anyway, I will be contacting them to see if it's OK for us to post a modified version of their word list as a Spell Catcher format file. Their word list is released under a GPL license, but I'd rather ask them directly (and get a direct answer) than try to infer anything from the GPL license document myself.



It occurs to me that now might be the time to make contracts with other developers, bring out new and badly needed software titles, and beat folks like Stedmans in a bag. They, and the Nuance people, are asleep at the wheel. Mac Speech is very nice. However, it does not have the professional plug-ins which the Windows versions do. If I dictated "homonymous hemianopia" into MacSpeech, I'd have to teach it to spell it correctly, along with 50% of what I dictate.

If the software makers would do what they need to do and port those features to Mac, they would sell. I don't know what their marketing data indicate. All I know is what I've seen among other professionals in this area. Or maybe these products would not sell due to the economy. On the other hand, it might sell because it would cut costs and time spent transcribing notes.

To me, a speller like Stedmans means less time checking and re-checking documents in search of errors. However, they won't get off their butts.

Thanks for the reply. I've made a bookmark of the URL's you gave me.

-john

#6 yebdox

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 01:45 PM

Hi, Evan,

My transcriptionist has been on my case about a medical spell checker as well, although I've used Spellcatcher with good success for several years, as you may know.

I was just looking into the Stedman's and saw the post above, so will not go that route.... can you please keep us posted on any file conversions you might be able to do, to make the above open source info available for easy import into Spellcatcher? I have 15 terminals to update, so I would hope the process wouldn't be too labor intensive.

Thanks,

Dana W
Spokane, WA

#7 dokter_john1985

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 02:54 PM

Thursday, March 12, 2009
12:31 PM -0800

My transcriptionist has been on my case about a medical spell checker as well, although I've used Spellcatcher with good success for several years, as you may know.


Dana, I wish I could afford one! The US needs physicians. The people need physicians. However the various medical corporations find it unprofitable if I treat people. Grrrrr! When I go to conferences and colloquia in different states, all the MD's in attendance seem radioactive with the same feelings.

We need spellers and MacDictate with medical packages. Otherwise we're going to have to flip over to VMWare, with a huge hard drive and an even faster MBP, and try to see if we can use the Windows side to dictate using Dragon Naturally Speaking with medical package using emulation. I've never heard it being used, so I don't know if it would work.

Again, developers may take spot polls or decide whether or not to make a product based on what they assume the market might demand. I'm telling folks what I see and hear all the time. Doctors--at least--want medical spellers and medical dictation packages on MacSpeech.

I am going back to that conference in Hawaii this year because it was very cutting edge. Information was released there that had not yet been released to the scientific press or lay press. I am not joking about Mac Book Pros heavily outnumbering Windows PC laptops last year. See, you have patient information, directories of important other collaborators, wireless capability, and other very important information on a laptop. I repeat myself: as a student told me, "Dude, try to get a [PC] laptop repaired." They are very cheap for a reason. Try to get a MBP repaired? No problem...usually. [Back up, everyone!]

Maybe the economy is so depressed, the developers don't have the money to do these things. So, the smaller developer now has the chance to take an at-bat, create these acutely needed things, and make a pile of money.

Who knows?!

-John

#8 Evan Gross

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 01:34 AM

Thursday, March 12, 2009
12:31 PM -0800



Dana, I wish I could afford one! The US needs physicians. The people need physicians. However the various medical corporations find it unprofitable if I treat people. Grrrrr! When I go to conferences and colloquia in different states, all the MD's in attendance seem radioactive with the same feelings.

We need spellers and MacDictate with medical packages. Otherwise we're going to have to flip over to VMWare, with a huge hard drive and an even faster MBP, and try to see if we can use the Windows side to dictate using Dragon Naturally Speaking with medical package using emulation. I've never heard it being used, so I don't know if it would work.

Again, developers may take spot polls or decide whether or not to make a product based on what they assume the market might demand. I'm telling folks what I see and hear all the time. Doctors--at least--want medical spellers and medical dictation packages on MacSpeech.

I am going back to that conference in Hawaii this year because it was very cutting edge. Information was released there that had not yet been released to the scientific press or lay press. I am not joking about Mac Book Pros heavily outnumbering Windows PC laptops last year. See, you have patient information, directories of important other collaborators, wireless capability, and other very important information on a laptop. I repeat myself: as a student told me, "Dude, try to get a [PC] laptop repaired." They are very cheap for a reason. Try to get a MBP repaired? No problem...usually. [Back up, everyone!]

Maybe the economy is so depressed, the developers don't have the money to do these things. So, the smaller developer now has the chance to take an at-bat, create these acutely needed things, and make a pile of money.

Who knows?!

-John


Take a look at the new medical terms reference we just made available, from the folks at e-MedTools. Let me know what you think!